TIME Behind the Photos

What We Can Learn From Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Dick Cheney on 9/11

Never-before-seen photographs shot inside the White House bunker on Sept. 11 offer an intimate look at how Dick Cheney was affected by the day's events

Pictures of the burning World Trade Center towers, images seared in minds around the U.S. and the world, quickly came to define the Sept. 11 attacks in graphic fashion. And it’s not hard to see why: those images shocked a nation, sowing grief, sorrow and anguish among Americans—including, as never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes images have shown, the nation’s leaders.

On July 25, the National Archives and Records Administration released 356 photos shot on Sept. 11, 2001, by Vice President Dick Cheney’s official photographer David Bohrer. The publication was the result of a decade-long fight by Frontline producer Colette Neirouz Hanna to gain access to the images. The photographs, shot as Cheney and other members of George W. Bush’s administration sought refuge in the President’s Emergency Operations Center underneath the White House, don’t reveal anything we didn’t know about that day’s events. Still, they provide insight into the emotional state of the country’s leaders at these unprecedented trying times.

“There were many pictures of the event itself,” says Fred Ritchin, a photography critic and the Dean of the School at the International Center of Photography in New York. “But, until now, we didn’t really see the response of the people in power and how they felt about it. These photographs make it much more tangible and visible. We can really feel what is being felt.”

“You can see the grief and anguish on the Vice President’s face,” adds Neirouz Hanna. “Being able to see these photos for the first time is a remarkable and important contribution to the historical record.”

Yet the photographs remained concealed for almost 15 years. “We’ve been reporting and producing films about September 11 and its aftermath since day one,” says Neirouz Hanna, “and in order to help illustrate a lot of the scenes in these films I would look for these photographs and make countless requests to the Bush administration and Cheney administration. We were just consistently denied.”

According to the Frontline producer, the administration held onto the photographs until January 2009, at which time they were transferred to the National Archives and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. After an expected five-year embargo, all documents were made available under the Freedom of Information Act.

But, an administration’s rebuttals often come from a desire to portray the office of the presidency and vice-presidency in a positive way, especially when you take into consideration the power of an image, as Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary for George W. Bush, tells TIME. As a result, political concerns will dictate the type of pictures that are released by White House staffers. “There’s a political element to make the President look strong, decisive, in charge,” says Fleischer. “Unless it’s for humor, you’ll never see any White House release pictures that make the President look bad.”

Michael Davis, the Lead Picture Editor for the White House from 2001 to 2004, remembers arguing for more behind-the-scenes photographs to be disclosed on Sept. 11, but, he was convinced otherwise. “They were considering so many different things that I don’t know where the notion of informing the public [fell] on the hierarchy,” he says. “I remember having a meeting pretty late that night with the [President’s] Chief of Staff and the Communications Director, and the decision was not to release any images of the president that night because releasing photos of him on that day would have drawn attention away from what needed to be [focused on] and that was the victims and what was happening in New York and the Pentagon. I completely agreed with that.”

Even though no images would be released that day, the staff photographers continued their work. Now, years later, the images they were able to capture can add a new layer to public understanding of that dark moment in history. For example, one picture of CIA director George Tenet listening to the President’s address to the nation communicates a feeling that many officials might have tried to hide at the time: “The look on Tenet’s face really said it all,” explains Gordon Johndroe, who served as Deputy Press Secretary for the President from 2001 to 2003. “[It shows] what a long, stressful and unbelievable day it had been. And at that point, they are waiting for the President to finish his speech and walk back to the bunker because they had another meeting. Tenet knew he wasn’t going home any time soon.”

The released photographs also offer the closest look at Vice President Cheney’s emotional state on Sept. 11. “The decisions being made down there involved life and death,” says Fleischer. “For instance, the decision that the President made on Air Force One – and that he and the Vice President discussed – authorizing the shoot down of civilian aircrafts, and the moments of doubt when a civilian aircraft went down in Pennsylvania; a photographer caught that. Think of how searing, how gripping, how vivid and emotional and unscripted all that was.” And that’s what Bohrer’s photographs convey, adds Jared Ragland, a White House Photo Editor and Digital Imaging Specialist who joined Bush’s administration in 2005. “These photographs capture the emotional timbre of that morning and then throughout the day. You see these emotional responses. You see these looks of sadness, bewilderment, exhaustion. You see that human element.”

Looking at Bohrer’s images, there’s little doubt that Sept. 11 had a profound impact on the people who spent most of that day in the White House’s bunker. “That was the day that changed him,” says Johndroe, in reference to Vice President Cheney. “I think you begin to see the transformation that day, the anguish on his face.”

For Ari Fleischer, these images highlight not just the power of history to shape individuals, but also the power of photography to shape history. “It shows [people] what that day was like as if they could be there today,” he says. “That’s what photos can accomplish, and particularly on those momentous days like Pearl Harbor, like D-Day, and like Sept. 11. Our nation wants to remember and photos help people to remember.”

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

TIME iPhone

Telling Siri This Command Calls 9-1-1

Apple Poised to Sell 10 Million IPhones in Record Debut
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A customer tries the Siri voice assistant function on an Apple Inc. iPhone.

But it's probably not intentional.

Next time you want to charge your phone, don’t tell Siri to do it. Firstly, Siri can’t plug in your phone charger for you, no matter how far the outlet is from your couch. And secondly, telling Siri “charge my phone 100%” prompts the phone to call emergency services.

Some conspiracy theorists have guessed that the command gives iPhone users a way to call 911 without tipping off those within earshot–a capability that could be useful in emergency situations. But what’s more likely is that Siri is just responding to the keywords in the command. The Daily Dot noted that Siri also places the emergency call in response to the command “Phone 100″ and “Phone 110.” Those are the emergency numbers in India and China, The Daily Dot said.

We’ve reached out to Apple for further clarification, but for now, it looks like the feature isn’t a secret kidnap-rescue command.

 

TIME National Security

Study Says White Extremists Have Killed More Americans in the U.S. Than Jihadists Since 9/11

Wisconsin Community Pays Respects to Sikhs Killed in Shooting Rampage
Darren Hauck—Getty Images Two women hug as community members in Oak Creek, Wisc., pay respects to the six victims in the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Aug. 10, 2012

Radical Islamists were also indicted more frequently than non-Muslim extremists and served longer sentences

Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have, according to research by the New America Foundation.

In their June study, the foundation decided to examine groups “engaged in violent extremist activity” and found that white extremists were by far the most dangerous. They pointed to the recent Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, as well as many lesser-known attacks on Jewish institutions and on police. They found that 48 people were killed by white terrorists, while 26 were killed by radical Islamists, since Sept. 11.

The study also found that the criminal justice system judged jihadists more harshly than their non-Muslim counterparts, indicting them more frequently than non-jihadists and handing down longer sentences.

See a full breakdown of the numbers here.

TIME cities

See the First Images of the Last New World Trade Center Tower

Designs for 2 WTC revealed

Architects unveiled the designs for 2 World Trade Center on Tuesday, which will be the last tower built on the site of the World Trade Center.

The new tower, designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (of BIG) and developed by Silverstein Properties, is slated to become the new home of 21st Century Fox and News Corp. The building is specifically designed to “restore the majestic skyline of Manhattan and unite the streetscapes of Tribeca,” Ingels said in a statement. “From TriBeCa, the home of lofts and roof gardens, it will appear like a vertical village of singular buildings stacked on top of each other to create parks and plazas in the sky. From the World Trade Center, the individual towers will appear unified, completing the colonnade of towers framing the 9/11 Memorial. Horizontal meets vertical. Diversity becomes unity.”

2 World Trade Center will be the fourth and last tower built on the site of the World Trade Center buildings destroyed on 9/11.

TIME U.K.

Top Oxford University Academic Says the U.S. ‘Overreacted’ to 9/11

Apparently, the British are historically more resilient to terrorist threats

Incoming Oxford University vice chancellor Louise Richardson said this week that the U.S. overreacted to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, thanks in large part to the American populace’s lack of exposure to violent extremism, according to a report in the U.K. Telegraph.

The professor, who specializes in the study of terrorism, made the remarks during a British Council conference in London on Tuesday. During a panel discussion focusing on radicalization in universities, Richardson added that the British have historically had a much more levelheaded response to terrorism.

“The British population in the course of the Troubles and violence in Northern Ireland proved really quite resilient, I think far more so than the U.S.,” said Richardson. “And the scale of the overreaction in the U.S. to the 9/11 atrocity was reflective of the fact that it was such a new experience in the U.S.”

Last week, Richardson was nominated to become Oxford University’s new vice chancellor, making her the first woman to hold the position since its creation in 1230, reports the BBC.

Read more at the Telegraph.

TIME viral

Read a Sixth-Grader’s Handwritten Apology for Making a Prank 911 Call

apology
Savannah Chatham Police

He's still grounded, though

A remorseful young troublemaker wrote an apology note and read it aloud to emergency dispatchers after he mad a prank call to 911 on a dare from his friends.

“I am writing an apology letter for what I did last night,” the unnamed sixth-grader wrote. “Last night I called and said ‘dezz nuts.'”

The kid wrote “dezz nuts,” but may have actually said “deez nuts” in the prank call.

“I know there will be consequences, and I will not complain about them,” he wrote. “I am sorry for what I did and I hope you can forgive me.” He wrote that he made the call because his friends dared him to do it.

His parents made him write the note and read it aloud to the on-duty emergency communications staff at Savannah-Chatham 911 center. Emergency dispatchers were so impressed that they accepted his apology and then gave him and his family a tour of their office.

He’s still grounded, though.

 

MONEY investing strategy

16 Facts You Never Would Have Believed Before They Happened

"History never looks like history when you are living through it." — John W. Gardner

A reminder for those making predictions.

You would have never believed it if, in the mid-1980s, someone told you that in the next two decades the Soviet Union would collapse, Japan’s economy would stagnate for 20 years, China would become a superpower, and North Dakota would be ground zero for global energy growth.

You would have never believed it if, in 1930, someone told you there would be a surge in the birthrate from 1945 to 1965, creating a massive generation that would have all kinds of impacts on the economy and society.

You would have never believed it if, in 2004, someone told you a website run by a 19-year-old college dropout on which you look at pictures of your friends would be worth nearly a quarter-trillion dollars in less than a decade. (Nice job, Facebook.)

You would never have believed it if, in 1900, as your horse and buggy got stuck in the mud, someone pointed to the moon and said, “We’ll be walking on that during our lifetime.”

You would have never believed it if, in late 1945, someone told you that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki no country would use a nuclear weapon in war for at least seven decades.

You would have never believed it if, eight years ago, someone told you the Federal Reserve would print $3 trillion and what followed would be some of the lowest inflation in decades.

You would have never believed it if, in 2000, someone told you Enron was about to go bankrupt and Apple would become the most innovative, valuable company in the world. (The opposite looked highly likely.)

You would have never believed it if, in 1910, when forecasts predicted the United States would deplete its oil within 10 years, that a century later we’d be pumping 8.6 million barrels of oil a day.

You would have never believed it if, three years ago, someone told you that Uber, an app connecting you with a stranger in a Honda Civic, would be worth almost as much as General Motors.

You would have never believed it if, 15 years ago, someone told you that you’d be able to watch high-definition movies and simultaneously do your taxes on a 4-inch piece of glass and metal.

You would have never believed it if, in 2000, someone said the biggest news story of the next decade — economically, politically, socially, and militarily — would be a group of guys with box cutters.

You would have never believed it if, in 2002, someone told you we’d go at least 11 years without another major terrorist attack in America.

You would have never believed it if, in 1997, someone told you that the biggest threat to Microsoft were two Stanford students working out of a garage on a search engine with an odd, misspelled name.

You would have never believed it if, just a few years ago, someone told you investors would be buying government debt with negative interest rates.

You would have never believed it if, in 2008, as U.S. “peak oil” arguments were everywhere, that within six years America would be pumping more oil than Saudi Arabia.

You would have never believed it if, after the lessons of World War I, someone told you there’d be an even bigger war 25 years later.

But all of that stuff happened. And they were some of the most important stories of the last 100 years. The next 100 years will be the same.

For more on this:

TIME People

This 911 Dispatcher Broke the Rules to Save a Toddler’s Life

Knowing that the toddler needed immediate help, the Virginia dispatcher didn't give it a second thought

Tim Webb risked his job and broke the rules to save the life of 17-month-old boy.

The 911 dispatcher at Virginia’s Galax Police Department recently received a frantic call from Melissa Grable, describing how her young son Aidan had suddenly become lifeless during a nap, reports Fox2 Now.

The boy, who was previously feeling ill, had suffered a seizure and stopped breathing. Sensing they only had minutes to act, the distraught mom begged Webb for directions on what to do.

The dispatcher asked if anyone on the other end knew CPR. When Grable said no, Webb was left with a tough decision.

Webb himself knows CPR, but the Galax Police Department does not have a emergency medical dispatch certification. This means dispatchers are prohibited from giving CPR directions over the phone.

But at that moment, Webb decided the rules didn’t apply. Knowing that Aidan needed immediate help, Webb gave instructions to Grable on how to perform CPR on her son.

“Without some sort of life-saving measures, the child would expire. I wasn’t gonna let that happen, even if it meant being reprimanded.” said Webb.

Grable and Aidan’s grandmother carefully followed the steps and 20 minutes later, when the ambulance arrived, Aidan was breathing again.

To thank Webb for his selfless choice, Aidan and his family stopped by the police department several weeks after that frightening call. The police department also applauded Webb for acting quickly and taking a risk in order to save a child’s life.

“It makes you realize why you get up, why you come to work, and why you do what you do.” said Webb.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME On Our Radar

See World Famous Photographs Recreated in a Studio

These artists have painstakingly recreated some of the world's most influential images

Variously described as “a sludgy image of the grey Rhine under grey skies” and as “vibrant, beautiful and memorable,” Andreas Gursky’s Rhein II was once the most expensive photograph ever sold, until it was surpassed in 2014. Auctioned off for $4.3 million in 2011, it was an image that quickly entered into the public lexicon and was one that often divided public opinion.

It is images such as this one that Switzerland-based artists Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger have painstakingly been recreating in their own studios — with store-bought models and some in-house DIY. Their photographs are playful, mocking even. And while we might laugh at a black cardboard Loch Ness Monster raising its head above plastic wrap water, seeing a facsimile of a burning World Trade Center, with pen-etched windows and cotton-wool smoke, is certainly jarring.

What is most striking, though, is how accurately they have recreated the originals. Their burning Hindenberg is as terrifying as the one in Sam Shere’s iconic 1937 image, and their recreation of Ludwig Wegmann’s shot of a hooded kidnapper during the 1972 Munich Massacre is equally chilling. But this very realism is framed by evidence that these are photographs of miniature models: we see rigs, overhead lighting and even rolls of masking tape on the floor. It is a move that seems to draw attention to the very artificiality of the pieces, reminding us that these are merely objects. Just like the original photographs.

Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger are artists based in Switzerland

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox

TIME photography

Celebrating 80 Years of Associated Press’ Wirephoto

Exactly 80 years ago today, on Jan. 1, 1935, the Associated Press sent its very first photograph over the organization’s brand new Wirephoto service: an aerial photo of a plane crash in upstate New York. The photo was delivered across the country to 47 newspapers in 25 states.

In an article published that day in The Bulletin newspaper, AP president Frank B. Noyes named each of the papers that had opted into the service saying, “These are the pioneers of wirephoto, which outstrips other messengers in conveying the news in pictures just as, a century ago, the telegraph came to outstrip the carrier pigeon and the pony express, and, a little more than a generation ago, the typewriter relegated the stylus to oblivion.”

Photos up to that point were largely delivered by mail, train or airplane, taking up to 85 hours in transit. AP Wirephoto could transmit a photo in minutes.

APThe first AP Wirephoto with original caption affixed: The wreckage of a small plane lies in a wooded area near Morehousville, N.Y., on Dec. 31, 1934.

AT&T had made a previous attempt at their own photo wire service. In 1926, the telephone company had succeeded in setting up eight sending and receiving centers across the nation, which AP and other outlets had put to use. It was, however, a hugely expensive endeavor for the company and its users; after spending over $3m dollars with comparatively small returns, the service was shut down in 1933.

Before AT&T closed down its service, AP General Manager Kent Cooper had made it his mission to develop such a service in house. “KC was the father of the AP Newsphoto Service,” former AP executive photo editor Al Resch was quoted as saying in the company magazine The AP World in 1969. “He was deeply dedicated to the proposition that the day’s news should be just as thoroughly and competently covered in pictures as in words.”

Cooper prevailed, despite hefty internal opposition (the service posed a threat to Hearst and Scripps-Howard, AP member organizations that owned competing photo services) and under the spectre of the Great Depression. The story is well documented in AP’s annual report for 1934: “After discussion it was voted that Mr. Howard be informed that the Board and Executive Committee would be glad to confer with representatives of the Scripps-Howard and Hearst member newspapers, on the basis that the Board was always willing to consider any problem affecting its members and in which there was any mutuality of interest.”

Associated Press Corporate ArchivesPhotographer Bill Allen uses the trunk of his car as a darkroom to develop film coverage of a 1938 Virginia mine explosion.

The system was comprised of three main elements: transmitters, receivers, and 10,000 miles of leased telephone lines – the wires. The transmitters required first a print – AP photographers would either send in their film to be developed and printed at an AP darkroom, or develop and print it themselves using portable darkrooms. At that time, they worked mainly with Speed Graphic cameras and 4×5 film.

Once the print was made and ready to be sent, it would be wrapped around a cylinder on the transmitter. At the push of a button, the cylinder, which could hold up to 11 x 17-inch prints, would spin at one hundred revolutions per minute underneath an optical scanner. The optical scanner would shine a very thin beam of light onto the spinning print, which would then reflect light back into a photoelectric cell, which, in turn, would translate the reflections of light and dark tones into signals that would be carried across the wires.

The receiver on the other end had a similar spinning cylinder with a negative on it. As the transmission came in, the signals would be converted back into light, which was then recorded onto the negative, reproducing the original image.

AP stationed a network monitor in their New York bureau to control the sending and receiving of images. It was his job to listen to daily offerings from the member papers who would call in descriptions of the best images each outlet had to send, and then to decide which of those photos would be transmitted to which member papers at what time. Each transmission could take from 10 to 17 minutes depending on the size of the print, so the network monitor’s challenge was to decide, within the time constraints of a given day, which photos the world would see. See a dramatization of this process in the video below.

APA man carries AP’s portable WirePhoto transmitter.

Over the next 20 years, AP Wirephoto technology would be continually streamlined as the network grew. By 1936, AP technicians had made available portable transmitters that came in two 40-pound suitcases. They were bulky and required trained technicians to run them. By the end of 1937, the stationary transmitters and receivers at the AP bureaus and newspapers were replaced with ones that were smaller, lighter, and could be plugged into a wall socket instead of taking power from a wet cell battery. By 1939, the portable transmitters were made more compact and AP had 35 units ready for use. Color transmissions, which took three times as long as black and white due to color separation, became available that same year.

Picture quality on the receiving end was continually improved and fine tuned. More newspapers signed on for the service, the network continued to enlarge. As America entered WWII, the demand for pictures – and for picture delivery – forced advances in Radiophoto transmissions. Wirephoto had also transmitted maps and charts from its inception, but these became especially valuable during war time.

Postwar, the transmitters and receivers became yet again smaller, picture quality and transmission of tonality improved, and AP developed receivers that were capable of producing positives as well as negatives, again cutting down time-to-market. By 1951, over 20,000 pictures were transmitted via Wirephoto annually.

By 1963, North America and Europe were connected via a leased circuit. In the same time period, as AP began its historic coverage of the Vietnam war, its photographers were making the transition from shooting 4×5 and 120mm film to 35mm film.

Between the 1960s and the 90s there were three major leaps in technology, ultimately leading to digital transmission. The first big jump was the establishment of the Electronic Darkroom in 1978 which digitized the signals coming through on the wires. It featured computers that could crop, tone, and sharpen images as they came through. It was in a way an early, crude version of Photoshop. Operators could receive an image, edit it, and send it back out to the network without the added delay of developing a negative or making prints.

Promotional brochure announcing the AP Leafax 35, a picture transmitter that requires only a negative to transmit photographic images. 1988
Associated Press Corporate ArchivesPromotional brochure announcing the AP Leafax 35, a picture transmitter that requires only a negative to transmit photographic images, from 1988.

Negative scanning was the next push forward in the mid-80s with AP’s procurement of the Leafax, a compact and portable picture transmitter held in a briefcase-sized case. AP photographers could take color or black-and-white negatives, scan them into the Leafax, tone, sharpen, crop and add captions, then send them through to the network. With the exception of developing film, the Leafax eliminated darkroom work and printmaking for photographers and again cut the amount of time it took for the picture to travel from the camera to the news consumer.

Ron Edmonds—APPresident George H. W. Bush raises his hand as he takes the oath of office as President of the United States outside the Capitol on Jan. 20, 1989, Washington, D.C.

“That was the first step,” Hal Buell, AP’s former head of photography, tells TIME. “The next thing was to set up a digital network which we called Photostream.” Photostream was announced in 1989, and offered all digital transmission via satellite. It reduced transmission time from 10 minutes to 60 seconds, and offered a method of delivering higher quality color pictures. AP supplied every U.S. newspaper with a Leafdesk to receive the new digital transmissions.

“We had to send a representative into every newspaper in the U.S. that took photos and show them how the digital system worked with incoming wire pictures,” says Buell. “We put these desks in every newspaper, and that not only changed the way AP handled pictures, but it changed the way newspapers handled pictures.”

AP’s first digital news photo was made and transmitted earlier in 1989 at George H.W. Bush’s inauguration by Ron Edmonds using a Nikon QV-1000c. The advent of ever more powerful computers and laptops, portable satellites, improvements in image compression, and the lightning fast evolution of digital cameras, now with possibility of in-camera transmission and video, has continued to accelerate and increase AP’s delivery of images from the late 1990s to the present. Whereas in 1951 the service transmitted 22,000 images annually, AP now transmits over 3,000 images daily.

In that early 1935 Bulletin article, Noyes touched on something that was, and continues to be, essential to the news: speed, the need for which has driven the evolution of communication technology to this day. This may seem self-evident; however, as these technologies have evolved, they directly affect how news is created and how it is digested, and thus, in very profound, sometimes imperceptible ways, how we conceive of the world around us.

The launch of AP’s Photowire service initiated just that sort of weighty paradigm shift. “From Jan. 1, 1935 on, you could say that as far as the news goes, the visual had become newsworthy and capable of carrying the news, of being news,” Valerie Komor, Director of AP’s Corporate Archives, tells TIME. “Photography could be news.”

Photography is now indeed news, as is, increasingly, video. If we think of the way in which we – as news consumers – receive and read news images today, the experience feels instantaneous. Our understanding of the world is a constant, and rapid distillation of an ever increasing number of images spread over innumerable platforms. We are offered ever more perspectives, and a wealth of information. The responsibility now often falls on the reader to pace their intake of information.

“In the same way that a story can be read at the viewer’s leisure, a photograph can be contemplated at the viewer’s leisure,” says Santiago Lyon, the Vice President and Director of Photography at AP. “You are able to consider it and you’re able to have an opinion about it. And the discerning viewer won’t just look at a photograph, they’ll read a photograph, and they’ll look at all of the details in the picture and they’ll notice things and they’ll spend some time looking at a picture.”

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